In November, 1978 my sister called and invited me to go to a concert with her. This was quite remarkable as she didn’t like me very much. She said it was someone I “had to see”. As an older sister, she felt responsible for my musical education. I had never heard of him. It was Bruce Springsteen.
Well this was in the Concert Bowl at Maple Leaf Gardens – Bruce left the stage, came through the floor crowd and sang several times right beside our seats in the stands. It was a stunning, 4+ hour show and I left sweaty and completely satisfied. That was more than 37 years ago and I have since seen Bruce many times. Maybe 17? I stopped counting. Rochester in 1978. Chicago in 1999.
Everyone knows that on a scale of 1 – 10 a Springsteen show is a clear 17. Every one a remarkable experience. And each is different. When I took my husband to see Bruce at the CNE in the late 80’s, the sky was threatening rain. Bruce opened up with “Who’ll Stop The Rain”. It worked.
When my sons were about 7 and 9 I took them to see Bruce. This was the 90’s and I really wanted them to see what it was like when a human being wrote every word, and every note, and then had other humans all play it together. It’s magic and at that time it was very rare. It still is.
It was different then, when you couldn’t share things with the ease that you can today. I remember driving down Avenue Road quite late one evening in 1980, and Q107 had a sneak pre-release preview of one song from Bruce’s new album “The River”. There were no cell phones – I couldn’t share the moment with anyone. They played “Drive All Night” and I was so overcome I pulled over to the side of the road. Bruce is playing the entire album on Tuesday. I’m not sure I’ll be able to take it when he sings that song.
Man I actually love you Bruce Springsteen. You have never asked me for anything in all these years except to pay attention politically and to bring food for my local food bank to every show. Like thousands of others, I submitted a response to the “3 Words about Bruce Springsteen” for the remarkable documentary SPRINGSTEEN AND I. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVQUeCi9V0s ) I don’t remember what my three words were – I am guessing one was “Authentic”. Whatever. I end up saying the same three words that most of the fans say, and that I still say today:
THANK YOU BRUCE!